June 13, 2010

San Francisco: America’s Smartest City? At These Prices?

Blogger Economist Rob Pitingolo measured which metro area was the “smartest,” and used the density of higher education degrees as his metric.  His essay has gotten recent notice from USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, and my good buddy Greg Fielding.  Fielding asks if San Franciscans are so smart, then “why do they accept such painfully-high price-to-rent ratios?”  That’s pretty much the old “If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich,” saw isn’t it?  I’m going to demonstrate that Fielding asked the wrong question.

On a per-large-city basis, San Francisco blew the rest away with a whopping 7,031 degrees per square mile.  San Jose, the supposed “Capital of Silicon Valley,” lags fifteen places behind with an unimpressive 1,259.

It’s becoming increasingly accepted that there is real economic value to bringing a lot of smart and entrepreneurial people together in the same place. This can be tough to measure, unfortunately.

Yup, Math class is hard.  Pitingolo wondered whether the surrounding areas benefit from a core city’s degree concentration, and repeated the same measurements on a county level.  But many of his comparison cities are either contiguous with their counties, or are strongly linked with unmentioned surrounding counties, resulting in a lovely display of apples and orangutans.  And for some reason, the City and County of San Francisco was merged with contiguous San Mateo in the county section, dropping to fifth place with an anemic 1,105.  San Jose’s results also collapsed when amalgamated with Santa Clara County (413).  Obviously counties with huge swaths of farmland will pull these numbers down no matter how many Ph.Ds are sipping lattes on University Avenue.  What the density metric implies, and whether the county data make anything clearer is still up for discussion in the blog’s comments.

Meanwhile, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina scored first on The Daily Beast’s completely arbitrary measure of Metro IQ.  This alternative intelligence ranking was based on each million plus metro area’s ratio of degrees, colleges in the region, nonfiction book sales, and percent of eligible voters voting.  San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose came in second, scoring first with education but losing out to Raleigh-Durham due to relative voter apathy.  I will leave it as an exercise to the Real Bay Area reader exactly how valuable a measure of regional IQ can be that equates Duke, UCNC, and Chapel Hill with Stanford, Cal, USF, SF, Hayward and SJ States, and (in your face, Tar Heels!) Foothill.

We can argue whether completing a college degree is any indication of intelligence.  We can debate whether Pitingolo’s study erred by emphasizing population density over percentage of degree-holders, thus boosting teeming multistory cities such as San Francisco over low-profile megaburbs such as San Jose.  We can present various ways to measure what is a city, what is a metro area, and what is a region.  We can ask to what degree “human capital sprawl” limits a city’s economic engine (as in Oklahoma City) as opposed to revving it in Silicon Valley.

But there is no escaping real estate.  And here’s a better article that also says we’re #1, by one of my favorite authors, Richard Florida.  Florida noticed Pitingolo’s study too, although he didn’t have much to add to it.

Florida began with the perennial question of whether to rent or buy.  He studied 133 metropolitan regions,  noted the places with high versus low housing price to rent ratios (HPRs), and found that areas with higher HPRs have higher housing prices and lower percentages of people who are homeowners.  As Florida put it, “the costs of owning are relatively lower in places where more people already own their own homes.”  When prices are relatively higher, fewer own because fewer can afford to.

Then Florida looked at economic data for the regions: output, income, and wages.  Those with higher HPRs tend to be more productive, have more wealth, and higher wages.  And he already showed earlier that week that high HPRs are correlated with lower unemployment rates.  Hmm, high housing cost, high wages, high income, high productivity… does that sound like anywhere you know?

Previously, we’ve seen how smart regions have higher levels of income, economic output, and overall well-being. It costs relatively more to own in smarter, more advanced regional economies. We measure smart regions in terms of the level of human capital; the percentage of the workforce in creative, knowledge-based, and professional occupations; and the level of technology-based industry. The HPR ratio is positively related to all three. The correlation between the HPR ratio and human capital (measured as the share of metro population with a bachelor’s degree or higher) is .4.

Ah, there’s that college degree metric again that made all the headlines, measured it in percentage instead of density.  Florida says San Francisco is a smart region, and therefore an expensive one.  So, San Franciscans don’t pay high rent ratios because they aren’t smart.  They pay high rent ratios because they are.  The smarter a region is, the higher those ratios should be.

Florida concludes that the conventional wisdom of buying at a low HPR (15 or even 20) isn’t that wise.  Instead, he suggests you buy where skilled people want to work, where there are good economic prospects, and where homeownership isn’t routine. Buy where there are plenty of people who want to buy but haven’t yet.  When it’s time to sell, you’ll have plenty of potential customers.

It’s counterintuitive, but rent in Pittsburgh, but buy in San Francisco.  That’s the smart thing to do.

Comments (50) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

50 Responses to “San Francisco: America’s Smartest City? At These Prices?”

  1. SEA Says:

    “Instead, he suggests you buy where skilled people want to work, where there are good economic prospects, and where homeownership isn’t routine. Buy where there are plenty of people who want to buy but haven’t yet. When it’s time to sell, you’ll have plenty of potential customers.”

    Buy high and sell higher.

    I’d have suggested that people only buy tulip bulbs ‘where there are plenty of people who want to buy but haven’t yet.’ Is this another way of saying, only buy in the future RBA? Sorry, but you should have know that street would get to be a bit too busy.

    Next thing we’ll hear about migration. You know, only buy in an area where the population is going up, so you can be sure demand is high. They are not making any more land, even if the number of housing units continues to increase.

    Circular logic at its best: We all know that housing is worth the big bucks because it is worth the big bucks.

    I will say, however, that the basic idea of predicting consumer behavior is a good investment strategy. If somehow you know where the consumer demand is going to be, by all means buy in that area, but be sure and sell before the show is over.

  2. Alex Says:

    Stupid study. Of course, density of higher education degrees is higher if you live in a more densely-populated area. They should also count the density of deadbeats, druggies, homeless, murderers, rapists, child-molesters, etc.

  3. Real Estater Says:

    This is old news, which madhaus plagiarized from me.

  4. SEA Says:

    Real Estater- “We are #1 !!!!!!!!!!!”

    What an original thought! Bad, bad, madhaus for lifting that without giving proper credit.

    By the way, even if this was some great original thought, could you please point out where madhaus used “We are #1 !!!!!!!!!!!” without proper credit?

  5. WillowGlenner Says:

    This is a little like lying with statistics, because SF is such a small geographic radius city, the surrounding areas like Oakland and Vallejo house the working classes that work in SF. That is not the way it is in most cities, SF population is only 800K vs Houston for example which is 2.25 million.

  6. McFly Says:

    I agree, the metric is silly. What it really measures is population density, not the average overall education level. If you really want to determine the “smartest” city, divide population by the number of people with degrees (or whatever else it is that makes one “smart).

    Given its density, naturally there are a lot of “smart” people in SF. Of course, like Alex points out, there are a lot of idiots, druggies, etc. too. I actually think Seattle normally comes out on top in most “smartest city” surveys with SF and SJ not too far behind.

  7. Petsmart groomer Says:

    > This is old news, which madhaus plagiarized from me.

    Real Estater: We are #1 !!!!!!!!!!!

    madhaus: 809-word essay (933 with the quotes).

    Yep, sure sounds like plagiarism. Doofus.

  8. Insecure Techie Says:

    By the way, even if this was some great original thought, could you please point out where madhaus used “We are #1 !!!!!!!!!!!” without proper credit?
    —–

    What Real Estater is saying is that HE IS Rob Pitingolo.

  9. bryony Says:

    “Rent in Pittsburg and buy in San Francisco”? Oh, sure, rents are so low in Pittsburg anyone can save enough money to pay the cutthroat prices of shacks in San Francisco.

    San Francisco real estate is not priced as high as it is because it’s “worth it.” It’s priced as high as it is because people want to live here and people with real estate take gouging advantage of that.

  10. madEstater Says:

    bryony, Florida isn’t saying rent if you live in Pittsburgh in order to save money to live in SF. He’s saying don’t sink your capital into a declining asset, such as a house in a non-creative class city. He said in a place like Pittsburgh, the cost of ownership is much lower, so everyone who can buy already has. Thus Pittsburgh home prices have little upward pressure.

    I’m actually a little surprised by Real Estater’s take on this essay. Maybe 933 words (including quotes) were too much for him to follow, but I ended up agreeing with him on something. I suppose only a db* (thanks, Lionel!) like RE would construe an essay that dismisses one study and goes on to cite a better one as plagiarism. And I certainly doubt he read, let alone understood either of them.

    SEA, you should go to Pitingolo’s site, as his Excel spreadsheet is there for you to do your own math. Have fun.

    As to which metric to use, I think Pitilongo may be on the right track but needs a better metric. I would take that spreadsheet and try something that credited degree density but subtracted out population density, without using Florida’s simple degree percentage. We also need a way to measure the density without having it watered down by empty space, which is what hurt Santa Clara County (and San Jose) in his numbers.

    I’d take the densest census tracts of each region and then measure the degree density within those. Maybe for this to work, a region needs a floor (a minimum number of educated peple) as well as a minimum density. Then throw out the Useless Aggregate Data of Gilroy, South San Jose, and Campbell. Or alternatively, rank the tracts from highest to lowest percentage of degrees, and then bring in the density once we have the tracts over the national or regional average.

    WillowGlenner, did you read Florida’s essay? He comes to the same conclusion without the density metric, and you have to admit SF prices are higher than Houston’s.

  11. nomadic Says:

    Then throw out the Useless Aggregate Data of Gilroy, South San Jose, and Campbell.

    Picking on poor, defenseless Campbell again?

    Wasn’t the original article’s point that you have to have all of those degreed people living all mashed up close together to make the region smart, the reason he used density? Tossing it out deflates his argument a bit, however, I agree that it’s a poor measurement.

  12. madhaus Says:

    Picking on poor, defenseless Campbell again?

    I thought we had agreed not to discuss Palo Alto.

    Wasn’t the original article’s point that you have to have all of those degreed people living all mashed up close together to make the region smart, the reason he used density? Tossing it out deflates his argument a bit, however, I agree that it’s a poor measurement.

    No, I agree with his idea, but I am speculating how to remove density of the city from the measurement and just stick with degree density. Or correct it out somehow.

    If we measured the degree density in southern San Mateo and Northern Santa Clara counties, for example, wouldn’t the numbers be better than the entire city of San Jose? Yet the overall population density wouldn’t be much too different from San Jose, would it? Well, South San Jose is pretty thin, but the point is, Palo Alto is not urban no matter how RE thinks of it as “Manhatten [sic] West.”

    These data are available by census tract as well as ZIP code. I wonder if simply dividing degree density by population density would deal with the Alex Observation of hookers and blow density.

  13. nomadic Says:

    If we measured the degree density in southern San Mateo and Northern Santa Clara counties, for example, wouldn’t the numbers be better than the entire city of San Jose?

    Probably, but then you’re cherry-picking areas with the shortest commutes to the highest-paying jobs. You’d be building bias into the study. If you want to do that, let’s just declare this area the smartest because we (probably) have the highest median household income. I didn’t look up income data. Too hot for an in-depth discussion.

  14. madhaus Says:

    Yup, and I don’t have air-conditioning in the Shack. But I do want to figure out how to “fix” this study. What does Silicon Valley have that this study missed (San Jose was #16 and Santa Clara County fared even worse)? How can you measure academic achievement density in a suburb? I mean, seriously, Miami beats Los Angeles?

    See, it’s so much easier being snarky. [insert joke by ZIP code here]

  15. SEA Says:

    madEstater- The test that is failing, in my opinion, is the relative value of real estate. So many people today are weighted too heavily in terms of purchase price to years of income, or market value to years of income, or net worth, as applicable. Beyond that, there is debt to income, or debt servicing to income. Are housing costs too high?

    If there is some expectation that a given area will be highly demanded by those who can pay, be it by education or net worth, then by all means invest accordingly. Of course the model better predict correctly, and historically speaking, no model has stood the test of time.

    If I had the energy, then I’d set out with a basic hypothesis that the (future) most educated areas are the areas that are already the most overpriced. Thus the education is already priced into the market, along with all future expectations. Which gets us back to my first comment (#1), “Buy high and sell higher.”

    And that ties in nicely with bryony, “San Francisco real estate is not priced as high as it is because it’s “worth it.” It’s priced as high as it is because people want to live here and people with real estate take gouging advantage of that.”

    If we knew that it would be “worth it” in the future, RBA style, then we would not need to worry about loss of principal. Of course we don’t need to worry about loss of principal, if you buy in the future RBA, but I am not as certain as Real Estater about the future of the Palo Alto properties remaining in the elusive RBA.

  16. Alex Says:

    Why try fixing a sh!tty study.

    If the numbnut knew how to conduct studies, he would have accounted for the various biases (eg population density, age, etc)

    The assumption that higher degree = smartness may be incorrect.

    Densely populated areas tend to have more people with higher education degrees, as previously discussed. They may also have more hookers and drug addicts too.

    Areas with higher # of kids would skew the “smartness factor” (higher education degree) downward. So what age group would you include? 24 and above?

    I can’t believe USA Today and the SF Chronicle would reference that. Actually, I do. Sh*tty journalism. Lots of peeps who may have obtained degrees but can’t seem to think critically.

    The only thing that I find interesting at all is that Asian chick in the middle. She has a nice smile. I’d like to tap that.

  17. Real Estater Says:

    Alex,

    In conclusion, you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  18. Alex Says:

    In conclusion, you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    When I was mounting your wife last night, it seemed like the right place, right time. You should go get checked for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and hepatitis, b*atch.

  19. truly exemplifies the belvedere | Burbed.com Says:

    […] hour and half in traffic, from the people you need to see.  There’s something to be said for “smart” communities, and Belvedere wasn’t anywhere on the list.  Face it, with a density of 1856 people per […]

  20. bob Says:

    There’s too many loose ends in this article. I’ve actually read a number of variations of the same story on a number of sites recently.

    First of all, not all degrees are equal. There’s no shortage of people I’ve met or know who got totally worthless degrees. As in a PHD in poetry or something of the like. I assume that ALL degrees were counted in order to come up with the final numbers. Its probably impossible to fine-tune the details but I’d like the see the quality of those degrees versus the quantity.

    The comments about Raleigh is interesting. I took a trip there last year. Duke is a HUGE university and takes up pretty much all of Chapel Hill. The research Triangle is right nearby in Raleigh. Thus its easy to see how they have such a large student/graduate ratio.

    Lastly, I am constantly amazed that people just automatically put a “smart” sticker on anyone who happens to graduate from college. Just because you don’t have a degree means you’re automatically “dumb”.

    Case in point is that I participate in motorsports and build my own chassis. In order to do so you need to understand driving dynamics, fabrication skills, torque, rotating mass, proper steering geometry, pitch, caster, and of course the engine which includes knowledge of fluid dynamics, and of then all of the mechanical aspects of the machine itself. I learned all of this from people who often didn’t complete high school. Even though I went to college I can guarantee you the average college grad has no idea how to change the spark plugs in their car. I would say some of the guys who taught me chassis dynamics are more intelligent then some of the people I know who have PHds. Thus to me restricting the definition of intelligence to whether you posses a degree or not is stupid.

    As far as the Bay Area… Well I sort of agree with the commentator in the post: If people are so smart here then why do they pay out the rear for a house?

  21. DreamT Says:

    oh no bob, you didn’t do it again!

    “Lastly, I am constantly amazed that people just automatically put a “smart” sticker on anyone who happens to graduate from college. Just because you don’t have a degree means you’re automatically “dumb”. ”

    A => B is not equivalent to !A => !B
    It is equivalent to !B => !A

    Dude, you have some serious flaws in basic reasoning ability. How about you work on that instead of spewing nonsense?

  22. SEA Says:

    bob- “First of all, not all degrees are equal”

    The message speaks loud and clear.

  23. anon Says:

    “Lastly, I am constantly amazed that people just automatically put a “smart” sticker on anyone who happens to graduate from college. Just because you don’t have a degree means you’re automatically “dumb”.”

    Bob, I think you’re just constantly amazed.

    “Even though I went to college I can guarantee you the average college grad has no idea how to change the spark plugs in their car. I would say some of the guys who taught me chassis dynamics are more intelligent then some of the people I know who have PHds. Thus to me restricting the definition of intelligence to whether you posses a degree or not is stupid.”

    Bob, are you rubbing elbows with PHd types often? How many do you know and why are they so stupid? Let’s not discuss the smart PHds that you know – only the dumb ones. What fields did they obtain their degrees in?

  24. DreamT Says:

    anon – I’m afraid I agree with bob on that one. PhDs often aren’t the sharpest tool in the box, but even more striking is that they always think that they are, by several lengths.
    Consequently, their frustration after years of attempts at besting their comradeship outside of academia is all the greater…

  25. anon Says:

    *shrug*

    I didn’t say that I disagreed – simply that I wanted to know more about bob’s experiences with “some of the people I know who have PHds.”

  26. Alex Says:

    Just cuz you don’t have no stinkin degree, don’t be a hater, yo!

  27. madhaus Says:

    Yes indeed, he’s done it again. It’s all there! The horrid logic. The rant about elitists who don’t appreciate the ability of the working class. And best of all, a lecture about worthless degrees compared to useful ones from someone who majored in Art.

    And on top of that, every greasemonkey out there is capable of rebuilding an engine from scratch without specs or manuals, ensuring it’s perfectly balanced and tuned to whatever vehicle it’s being fit into no matter what modifications were made, and finally, that there isn’t a single mechanical engineer out there who could do it a tenth as well.

    Plus there’s some gibberish about “student/graduate ratio” that wasn’t in any of the articles referenced above. Obviously, Duke is the only school in the country whose city statistics are pulled down by having students, that is, people who haven’t graduated, as well as residents, some of which have graduated.

    I hope you all got the bonus points where he said Duke was a huge university that took up the entire city of Chapel Hill. I wonder where they fit UCNC if Duke takes up the whole city. Maybe when Duke invaded, UCNC retreated to the abandoned city of Durham where Duke used to be until last week? I wonder how Duke prevailed, since UCNC has 25,700 students and Duke a mere 12,800. Maybe Duke students fought extra hard since they were so miffed about that student/graduate ratio.

    I’m also wondering why UCNC isn’t complaining harder about the student/graduate ratio than Duke did, since the latter has just about as many graduate as undergraduate students, but UCNC has a ratio of 3:1.

    I’m dismayed, though, that there wasn’t much, much more about how much better Raleigh is than San Francisco. It’s like he was thinking about his awful commute instead of really polishing up today’s rant.

  28. Alex Says:

    Say it ain’t so, madhouse. When did University of California have a campus in Chapel Hill?

  29. nomadic Says:

    Who is this madhouse person?

    I was also wondering about this new branch of the University of California. More tax dollars to waste, like the UC Berkeley Moorea outpost.

  30. not madhaus Says:

    I hate it when people post a really good rant and make a dumbass mistake like putting University of North Carolina in the UC System. What kind of idiot is this madhouse person? Doesn’t he know that Duke is a HUGE university and takes up pretty much all of Chapel Hill?

  31. Alex Says:

    If this madhouse person had any IQ at all, he/she would slink away back into that cave.

    I mean…Isn’t it obvious Duke is soooooooooo huge (that’s what Faux Estater’s wife said about me, BTW), it takes up pretty much all of Chapel Hill AND Durham.

    BTW. Nice rant. You’re miffed I kinda knocked the wind out of it a little, huh?! LOL

  32. nomadic Says:

    I thought the rant was more funny because of what was essentially a typo. A straight-up blast of bob might be a tad uncomfortable for the rest of us to witness. 😉

  33. not madhaus Says:

    Always happy to keep you guys amused. I can’t rant anymore. I’m too busy trying to find my way out of Chapel Hill because Duke takes up the whole place.

  34. bob Says:

    Lordy Lordy. Looks like I’ve got lots of fan mail from yesterday. So I’ll dissect the remarks.

    Dude, you have some serious flaws in basic reasoning ability. How about you work on that instead of spewing nonsense?

    First of all, “dude” means someone who has never lived outside of a large city. Sorry to inform you but as you know I grew up in the sticks and later moved to several large cities. I’d much rather be called Sir. I’m not sure how you’re so confused by my comments that by having a college degree doesn’t automatically indicate intelligence. Perhaps the better term would’ve been common sense. But as the two are inseparable and requirements for overall intelligence I’ll just let my previous comments stand.

    And on top of that, every greasemonkey out there is capable of rebuilding an engine from scratch without specs or manuals, ensuring it’s perfectly balanced and tuned to whatever vehicle it’s being fit into no matter what modifications were made, and finally, that there isn’t a single mechanical engineer out there who could do it a blah blah blah….

    Are they? Really? Without manuals? Huh… I don’t seem to recall mentioning that in my post. But I do know quite a few of my friends can take apart the transmission on a Ford F-350 diesel without a manual.

    I hope you all got the bonus points where he said Duke was a huge university that took up the entire city of Chapel Hill. I wonder where they fit UCNC if Duke takes up the whole city.

    Ooopsy daisy! Yep, you caught me there because I got my cities switched up. You are correct Madhaus, Duke is in Durham and UNC is in Chapel Hill. I apologize profusely. Pat yourself on the back.

    I’m dismayed, though, that there wasn’t much, much more about how much better Raleigh is than San Francisco. It’s like he was thinking about his awful commute instead of really polishing up today’s rant.

    Perhaps because I find about 99.999% of the comments on this forum utterly worthless and thus tend to find other things to do. In fact I can’t believe I’m indulging you by responding. I’ve wasted 7 minutes typing this thing already.

    Bob, are you rubbing elbows with PHd types often? How many do you know and why are they so stupid? Let’s not discuss the smart PHds that you know – only the dumb ones. What fields did they obtain their degrees in?

    Did I say that Phd’s are stupid? And yes- I have been in the company of a great number of PHd’s.

    God dontcha’ just feel the love in the room?

  35. WillowGlenner Says:

    Speaking of Duke, that Duke/Butler game in March madness was a crime. Butler all the way.

  36. DreamT Says:

    “I’d much rather be called Sir”

    Ok, Kiddo. Noted.

    “I’m not sure how you’re so confused by my comments”

    No confusion on your comments. I pointed out faulty logic, not incorrect comments, that ended up rewording what someone says to mean something they did not say or mean.
    Example of your logic: She said that all cats are smart. But I’m not a cat. Therefore she said I’m dumb. Let me write an essay on burbed to disprove it.

  37. Sio2 Says:

    Sir Bob,
    “But I do know quite a few of my friends can take apart the transmission on a Ford F-350 diesel without a manual.”
    Can they put it back together without a manual?

  38. Greg Fielding Says:

    “So, San Franciscans don’t pay high rent ratios because they aren’t smart. They pay high rent ratios because they are. The smarter a region is, the higher those ratios should be.”

    I’m not so sure about this because rents are higher too in more desirable areas. The ratio represents a premium vs renting.

    High ratios suggest homeowners willing to lose cash annually, in return for better long-term appreciation. In today’s climate, there is nothing smart about this.

    The problem with SF is that everyone’s so smart…who is going to be the greater fool?

  39. SEA Says:

    “High ratios suggest homeowners willing to lose cash annually, in return for better long-term appreciation. In today’s climate, there is nothing smart about this.”

    Total return = operating return + price appreciation

    If you expect a total return of 8% and you rent for near operating cost, then the 8% expectation is rooted in price appreciation. Thus if operating returns equal zero (rents cover cost of operating = taxes, insurance, and so on.), then total return = price appreciation. If price appreciation is negative, well, uh, the math is not with you.

  40. Urban Sprawl Leads to Burning Summers… and Falls | Burbed.com Says:

    […] looks like we’re back to higher rents, higher density, and higher smarts.  Location, location, location!  Low on the density scale are the Southeastern cities, […]

  41. Should Government Encourage Homeownership? | Burbed.com Says:

    […] More homeowners mean fewer people moving where the jobs are.  Moving rate was 20% in 1985 but down to 11% in 2008.  Florida found high-homeownership cities lag in job creation.  (I hope this sounds familiar, as I’ve already written about his observations on this very topic.) […]

  42. Kim Says:

    Dear Burbed.com,

    I’m Ms. Kim who’s in the picture you used in this article without me and my friend’s permission. I don’t know how you got that picture and why you used it without an appropriate permission. This picture at the Stanford Graduation Ceremony is having our private and precious memory. Since I couldn’t find a way to contact you for this critical matter, I’m leaving a message here. I’d like to kindly ask you to delete the picture from your article as soon as possible.

  43. sonarrat Says:

    I didn’t post this article, but I removed the image for you. My apologies on behalf of Burbed for the invasion of privacy.

  44. nomadic Says:

    You’re so nice, sonarrat. I just had to laugh that a Stanford grad couldn’t find one of the three links on the home page to email a site admin.

  45. madhaus Says:

    Yeah actually I am not so sure #42 is the person in the photo, but I was trying to handle this offline without calling anyone out in public. We were getting a lot of hits from Facebook in Singapore on that article, so it was getting passed around there.

    I never did get a response at the email left by #42, either. And nomadic rightly points out a Stanford grad ought to be able to find a website contact.

  46. Sunny(vale) Kim Says:

    I don’t know how you got that picture
    —–

    Well, I took “that picture”. Just because Ms Kim is in the picture, that does not mean she owns it. I took the picture and I am the copyright owner of “that picture”.
    And Stanford Graduation Ceremony is a public event. Hence no model release permission required.

  47. Sunny(vale) Kim Says:

    BTW, Ms Kim and I are not related. I am Sunny(vale) Kim, the real estate investor. I am also the copyright owner of “that picture”.

  48. madhaus Says:

    Oh yeah, Sunnyvale Kim? Just to show ALL of you I found ANOTHER picture of Stanford graduates. See? They’re completely interchangeable!

    If anyone wants to admire the original picture it is here (original place I found it). The new picture came off another image search. Since this website is only valued at about $5 (per Alex’s offer), I doubt if the photographer wants royalties that would come to very much.

  49. It’s Search Engine Saturday! | Burbed.com Says:

    […] Our second interesting search term that brought a San Francisco someone to Burbed is most intelligent city san francisco.  Our readers sure are confident!  And modest!  Yet the search makes perfect sense.  With all the foolish business and people leaving California, the only ones staying are the smart folks.  End result: San Francisco is the most intelligent city. […]

  50. Around the Web: Useless Realty-Related Infographics [Burbed.com] Says:

    […] of payments and other sneaky accounting tricks.  Remember, Richard Florida pointed out that in Opposite of the Real Bay Area, it’s actually cheaper to buy than rent, as in monthly payments there are lower than monthly rents.  Why?  Because everyone who […]


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